Boat Life Archive: My First 3 Months
Amazingly, it has now been three months since I bought narrowboat Abel's Ark! Those three months have been the busiest months of my life by quite some margin. Not only has there been the moving in process, along with the painting, odd jobs and general settling in on the boat, but there has also been the "moving out of my flat" process, which not only saw me tying up the loose ends of land life, but also needing to sell off a huge amount of furniture and possessions that had no place on a 45 foot boat!
(This was originally published in August 2018)
Add to this frantic period of activity not only my return to YouTube, but also the early stages of work on my next book about boat life, and you have a pretty hectic time! To be honest I had forgotten how much work YouTube was, especially with my new trend of making highly edited half an hour videos! Another thing that I had completely overlooked regarding time and productivity was the amount of time I would spend commuting on my bike... two years of life in my home town with a ten minute walk to work or to see friends and family had allowed me to forget the general 30-60 minute bike rides at 7am or 11pm of boat life!
But even considering all of this frantic activity and the sense of trying to catch up with my own shadow producing videos, painting boat walls or working overtime... the last three months have been some of the best times of my life!
It would be very difficult to explain how much I have enjoyed being back on the canals. It was nice to spend a few weeks in the marina at Ellesmere, especially while the bulk of the odd jobs were being done onboard, but the absolute rural peace, tranquility and beauty of actually being moored up in a half forgotten corner of Shropshire, somewhere down the canal, was almost overwhelming once I had taken "The Ark" out onto the water. Even with the hours of videos that I have posted over the last few months, I don't think I could truly explain just how much I have enjoyed my time onboard so far.
Not only has the weather been incredible, which in turn has made the cruising, cycling and walking even better than usual, the fact that I have a boat which is infinitely more comfortable than Tilly has made a massive difference. Something as simple and basic as having a separate bedroom has really made life far easier and simpler than making and unmaking a bed everyday in my living room!
On one particular night, I moored in a place that I hadn't previously moored up with Tilly. Looking out of my bedroom window I had the sort of classic rural scene that I always talk about, yet at the same time, on the inside of the boat, I had luxuries such as fully working power sockets able to charge any of my gizmos and phone, a proper separate shower (not a wet room like on Tilly), pump out and cassette style toilets, faster internet access than I had in my flat on dry land, and amazingly (to me at least!) a fridge that even has a tiny freezer section!
Being able to take this comfortable, if miniature, home around with me to revisit some of my favourite places in Shropshire and Wales, has been an absolute pleasure. Being able to have friends and family onboard and actually have room for them to sit, whether indoors or in the covered stern or bow areas has made trips out far more pleasant, relaxed and fun, and to top it all off I have today bought a few pieces of track to start a new miniature model railway layout onboard too!
I honestly cannot express how grateful I am and how lucky I feel to be having a second chance at living my dream. Although this time around it is proving to be way more expensive, the benefit of looking at things sensibly and thinking about the long term comfort of boat life is already starting to show.
I'd like to take this as a moment to thank all of my family and friends for their part in helping me set all this up, especially my grandad and his endless hours of painting onboard! I would also like to thank everybody online who has been watching my recent videos and helping out by reading my books! (Hint Hint! 😉) It really means a lot, and I am trying to reply to all of the hundreds of comments and messages that have been incoming in recent times!
As always my friends,
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this,
Keep it boatworthy,
Keep it interesting,
and of course,
Dan... onboard Abel's Ark!